Father’s Day dinner ideas for this evening for dads celebrating Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand include salmon with colcannon, cote de boeuf, five-spice pork belly, or brined pork with perfect mash for a Father’s Day dinner that dad won’t forget. Or if you’re keeping things casual, how about homemade pies and sausage rolls or a Mexican fiesta or Tex-Mex feast?

As it’s Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand today and so many of our compatriots are in lockdown and staying at home and probably won’t be going out for a Father’s Day meal tonight, we thought we’d share some Father’s Day dinner ideas in case you’re still deciding what to cook dad for dinner tonight.

If you don’t normally cook dad something special for Father’s Day dinner, why not change that this weekend and start a new family tradition this Sunday? Memories last a lifetime. Socks and boxers don’t. So why not invest a little time in making a memorable family meal focused around dad tonight to make up for the footwear and underwear. Why do dads get such lame Father’s Day gifts anyway?   

I lost my dad long ago – he died far too early – but he’s always in my thoughts, especially today on Father’s Day. My most treasured memories not surprisingly involved food and travel, and if he were alive and we were with him, we’d be cooking him one very memorable meal this evening. Before I share our last minute Father’s Day dinner ideas, I have a favour to ask.

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Father’s Day Dinner Ideas for Dads Celebrating Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand

Our Meat Pie and Sausage Roll Recipes Inspired by Southeast Asian Dishes

If you’re thinking of keeping things casual tonight then one of our best Father’s Day dinner ideas are homemade pies and sausage rolls washed down with a selection of dad’s favourite Australian craft beers. Look no further than our collection of recipes for homemade pies and sausage rolls, below. Our best sausage roll and meat pie recipes are inspired by Southeast Asian dishes, particularly Cambodian dishes, and include everything from a gently-spiced curried chicken pie based on the quintessential Cambodian chicken curry to sausage rolls with eggplant and pork inspired by the classic Cambodia char-grilled eggplant and minced pork dish. If there’s one positive to come from pandemic cooking during lockdowns, it’s that it’s forced us all to get more creative in the kitchen. This series on our best meat pie and sausage roll recipes inspired by Southeast Asian dishes was one of many cooking projects that have kept us calm and focused while we’ve been quarantine cooking here in Cambodia. It’s also a result of us getting homesick, especially for Australian food and for Australia‘s iconic meat pies and sausage rolls. These are all delicious. We guarantee dad will love them.


A Mexican Feast

Of all my Father’s Day dinner ideas for you, this is probably the most fun: how about a casual Mexican feast? Kick things off with this sopa de tortilla (tortilla soup) that we learnt to make in San Miguel de Allende. If you have some corn cobs, follow it up with our Mexican street corn on the cob, Mexican street corn salad, or our Mexican street corn in a cup for Mexico’s esquites or elote en vaso, which means ‘corn in a cup’, and is a popular Mexican street food snack. With avocados, you can whip up an authentic Mexican guacamole. We also love this tacos al pastor recipe based on the version we fell in love with in Mexico City. Or you can go Tex-Mex. Make Terence’s easy red tomato salsa, chili con carne and quesadillas or my ultimate nachos. Whatever you decide to make, wash it all down with these classic margaritas and micheladas

Salmon Fillet with Colcannon Recipe and How to Get a Perfect Crispy Fish Skin

If you’re looking for more formal Father’s Day dinner ideas and are considering setting the table and opening some good bottles of wine, then try his salmon fillet with colcannon recipe, which has been a favourite of our’s since we first tasted the dish at restaurant Banc in Sydney back in the late Nineties. The crispy skinned salmon fillet was cooked to perfection, the colcannon (an Irish mash potato) was creamy and rich, and while the red wine sauce seemed an unusual choice, its acidity worked well with a mouthful of the other ingredients. That salmon dish was the reason that we walked out of the restaurant after our first meal there clutching the cookbook, Banc, published in 2000. One of the things that Terence loves about this recipe is that you can prep everything beforehand and disappear into the kitchen for 10 minutes to finish it if you’ve done your mis en place properly. Reheat the mash and add some butter to the sauce while you cook the salmon. So simple, which means you get to spend more time with dad.

Five-Spice Crispy Pork Belly Recipe 

This five-spice crispy pork belly is another fantastic Father’s Day dinner idea. This is one of our favourite ways to cook pork belly. Terence spent a couple of years refining this dish and gets consistently fantastic results from this recipe. This five-spice crispy pork belly recipe is very different to his char siu pork recipe which is also sublime but requires a lot more time before you get to taste it. This five-spice pork belly dish is a bit more refined and is perfect for a Father’s Day dinner main course. I highly recommend serving this perfect creamy mashed potatoes on the side. This recipe really makes a special meal that dad won’t forget quickly.

Pan-Roasted Brined and Marinated Pork Chops Recipe for the Juiciest Pork Chops Ever

Of all these Father’s Day dinner ideas, this is perhaps my favourite (along with the salmon above). Terence’s pan-roasted, brined and marinated pork chops recipe makes some of the juiciest pork chops you’ll ever taste. Terence’s brined pork chops recipe is a recipe that defies the notion that pork chops are generally dry and bland. Using a simple brining technique combined with a spicy marinade, the bland pork chop is transformed into a succulent and zesty main course. Brining the pork keeps the meat moist and marinating adds flavour. If you’re not familiar with brining, a basic brine is a salt-water solution, but Terence always adds an equal amount of sugar to match the salt. That additional sweetness works beautifully for the pork. The marinade gives the meat extra flavour, particularly when using Asian spices, which are more bold than European flavours. Our perfect mashed potatoes (link above) also work with this.

Aromatic Cote de Boeuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire

Of all our Father’s Day dinner ideas, this cote de boeuf recipe – or more correctly, côte de bœuf – courtesy of superstar French Chef Pierre Gagnaire is perhaps the most special and was one of our most memorable souvenirs of our stay in Paris in the spring of 2010, a quarter of the way through our 12 month global grand tour that launched Grantourismo. The year before that trip we had the privilege of being flies on the wall for a night in Pierre Gagnaire’s Dubai restaurant kitchen when the chef made one of his frequent visits. That night, as head chef Olivier Biles fired orders of côte de bœuf so colossal, so fragrant, and so delicious, we had trouble focussing on the story we were working on. Olivier would send out the côte de bœuf in a cast iron Dutch Oven to show customers the beautiful piece of meat they’d be getting before it hit the oven to complete the cooking. The huge chunks of beef had been seared and were surrounded by fragrant sprigs of thyme burning like incense. The fantastic aromas that wafted from the pot turned almost every head in the restaurant. “Five minutes a side on the grill, ten minutes in the oven, and ten minutes rest,” the chef told us, when we asked for the recipe. Simple as that. And yet we guarantee it will become one of the most memorable meals you’ll ever make your dad. I wish we could have had the chance to make it for my dad.

Please do let us know if you make any of our last minute Father’s Day dinner ideas tonight for Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand as we’d love to know how they turned out. Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s down under!

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